Flowers for Free

I actually almost forgot that today is Wednesday. I know, I know, how could I forget that today is the day for reading and voting on this week’s Indies Unlimited flash fiction challenge.

Every Saturday, the powers that rule over at Indies Unlimited give out a written and picture prompt. The mission, write a 250 word story based on the prompts and post it to their site by Tuesday. After going through the grinding scrutiny of specially selected judges, the stories that best represent the prompts for the week are put up for votes on Wednesday. This is our chance to decide what stories we like best.

Flowers for Free

Every day, Brad and Angela walked past Mrs. Broomfield’s garden on the way to the train station. And every day, Angela pined over the beautiful pink flowers with the golden centers.

Brad checked every flower shop in the area, but couldn’t find any that came close. So one day, he decided to go to Mrs. Broomfield’s house and ask her if he could pick some of them. But when he got there, she was asleep in the chair on the front porch.

Brad looked at the snoozing octogenarian, then glanced at the flowers. He could just go ahead and take a few – she wouldn’t notice, would she?

Flowers for Free

Photo by K. S. Brooks

As he reached out to break the stem of one of the flowers, Brad bumped into several around his target. He hadn’t noticed before the fine powder that coated the center of each of them. The powder filled the air at his touch, and not only coated his hands but it filled his lungs and assaulted his eyes.

He gasped and choked from the residue and fell back, away from the flowers. His body jerked as he slipped and landed on his hind quarters. He inhaled the powder deeper into his lungs with the impact and a coughing fit consumed him.

The old lady on the porch awoke with a start to find Brad, rolling on the ground near her prized flowers. She grabbed her cane and hobbled to the garden.

An impish smile filled her cheeks as she poked at Brad with the tip of her cane. “That’ll teach you,” she said. “Those are my prized ‘Grannie’s Helpers.’”

Brad fought through his coughing fit to draw in some fresh air. His face had turned a bright shade of red as he eyed the old woman. He could not find the air to breath calmly, let alone form words.

“Oh, you’ll be able to breathe again soon enough,” she said. “Unless you touched them. That’s the worst thing.”

In the midst of another coughing fit, pain ripped through Brad’s hands. The blisters had formed across his hands and up his arms.

“The flowers aren’t free, dear boy.”


Remember to head on over to Indies Unlimited and spread around some vote love.

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